Friday February 3, 2023

Good News Reflections:
Making scripture meaningful to your daily life
by Terry Modica


“If what we’re afraid might happen does indeed happen, God will turn it into a blessing.”


Good News Reflection for:

Friday of the 4th week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr
February 3, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

Forgive me Lord, for the times my heart has been divided and for my lack of courage to bear witness to You. Thank You for Your forgiveness that removes all my sins. Amen.

SaintsSubscribe to Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:
gnm.org/SaintQuotes/

Today’s Readings:

Hebrews 13:1-8
Ps 27:1, 3, 5, 8b-9
Mark 6:14-29
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/020323.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/daily-mass-reading-podcast-february-3-2023

It takes faith to love despite our fears

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

What causes us to be afraid? Basically, the root of every fear is the assumption that we are not loved, not really-really loved. We’re afraid of being open and honest with others because they might take advantage of it to hurt us. We’re afraid our prayers won’t be answered because God doesn’t care. And we’re afraid we’re not worthy of being loved, because deep down we’re afraid to love ourselves.

Today’s first reading describes the various ways that we act in love, and then it points out that by relying on the help of God who is love, we have nothing to fear. Elsewhere in scripture, we’re told that “there is no fear in love, because perfect love drives out fear….” (1 John 4:18).

Overcoming fear takes faith. It takes faith to “let brotherly love continue” when the brother is irritating us and we’re afraid of getting hurt again. It takes faith to “not neglect hospitality” when we’re tired of unpleasant people and we’re afraid of what our kindnesses might lead to.

It takes faith to “be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment” when we know they violated the law and we wouldn’t want to bump into them in a dark alley. It takes faith to not fear being overwhelmed by the neediness of the abused and others who’ve been ill-treated.

It takes faith to persevere in a marriage when stresses in the relationship make us afraid of the spouse’s rejection or misunderstanding or betrayal or emotional outbursts. It takes faith to keep the marriage bed undefiled instead of turning to a substitute for the spouse when we feel neglected.

It takes faith to stay free of the love of money and be content with what we already have when we’re afraid it’s not going to be enough. It takes faith to use our money and possessions for the benefit of others when we’re afraid it will be misused.

When we do everything “in love”, we do it in Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will not abandon us in our needs. The risks we take for the sake of love keep us safely in God’s protective care and helpfulness. Our loving deeds won’t always produce the results that we’d like to see, and we surely will get hurt when we courageously love everyone unconditionally, but this is not what matters — not really.

What matters is that God works everything out for good. If what we’re afraid might happen does indeed happen, he will turn it into a blessing. That is the generosity of his love for us!

That’s good to remember with Lent almost here: the season of sacrifice and almsgiving.

For more on this, pray with our prayer “A Prayer to Overcome the Messes We Made” @ https://gnm.org/prayers/prayer-to-overcome-messes/.

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica

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